Off The Clock Gets You Off The Job

, , , , , | Working | November 25, 2019

(I work at a well-known superstore. I am about midway through my shift when my supervisor tells me I am good to take my lunch break. I have just finished paying for my food from our in-store sandwich shop when she pulls me aside.)

Supervisor: “Hey, can you help that customer outside to her car?” *points to an elderly lady*

Me: “I can’t; I’m off the clock, Miss.”

Supervisor: “It’ll take you five minutes tops. Go help her.”

Me: “I’m not going to work off the clock. You can ask someone else to assist her.”

Supervisor: “No, I want you to assist her. You don’t pull your weight around here, anyway.”

Me: “And I’m not going to break the law just because you cannot find someone else.”

Supervisor: *grumble* “Fine. You win.”

(She pulls out a clipboard.)

Supervisor: “But before you go to the break room, I want you to sign this. I am sick and tired of you not listening to me.”

(I realize at this point she’s writing me up for not working off the clock.)

Me: “No. I am not signing that unless [Store Manager] is present.”

Supervisor: “If you don’t sign it, you’re fired.”

Me: “You know what? Given the circumstances, I dare you to fire me. I would love to see that get upheld after I tell him that you fired me for effectively refusing to break federal labor laws.”

(Incredibly, she fired me on the spot for what she called “insubordination.” Needless to say, when we met with the store manager to discuss my termination, he wasn’t very happy with my supervisor’s actions when I told him what really happened. After he confirmed it through security footage, the store manager reversed my firing and put my supervisor on a two-week unpaid suspension. While my supervisor was away, an investigation revealed that she had previously pulled similar stunts on my coworkers and only got away with it because they didn’t stand up to her like I did. She was fired less than two days after she returned for repeatedly and intentionally violating labor laws. I still work there, and there are now big posters by each time clock stating that working off the clock will not be tolerated.)

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